RV144 vaccine imprinting constrained HIV-1 evolution following breakthrough infection

Eric Lewitus, Eric Sanders-Buell, Meera Bose, Anne Marie O’Sullivan, Kultida Poltavee, Yifan Li, Hongjun Bai, Thembi Mdluli, Gina Donofrio, Bonnie Slike, Hong Zhao, Kim Wong, Lennie Chen, Shana Miller, Jenica Lee, Bahar Ahani, Steven Lepore, Sevan Muhammad, Rebecca Grande, Ursula TranVincent Dussupt, Letzibeth Mendez-Rivera, Sorachai Nitayaphan, Jaranit Kaewkungwal, Punnee Pitisuttithum, Supachai Rerks-Ngarm, Robert J. O’Connell, Holly Janes, Peter B. Gilbert, Robert Gramzinski, Sandhya Vasan, Merlin L. Robb, Nelson L. Michael, Shelly J. Krebs, Joshua T. Herbeck, Paul T. Edlefsen, James I. Mullins, Jerome H. Kim, Sodsai Tovanabutra, Morgane Rolland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The scale of the HIV-1 epidemic underscores the need for a vaccine. The multitude of circulating HIV-1 strains together with HIV-1’s high evolvability hints that HIV-1 could adapt to a future vaccine. Here, we wanted to investigate the effect of vaccination on the evolution of the virus post-breakthrough infection. We analyzed 2,635 HIV-1 env sequences sampled up to a year post-diagnosis from 110 vaccine and placebo participants who became infected in the RV144 vaccine efficacy trial. We showed that the Env signature sites that were previously identified to distinguish vaccine and placebo participants were maintained over time. In addition, fewer sites were under diversifying selection in the vaccine group than in the placebo group. These results indicate that HIV-1 would possibly adapt to a vaccine upon its roll-out.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA1349
JournalVirus Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV-1
  • Sieve analysis
  • Vaccine
  • Within-host evolution


Dive into the research topics of 'RV144 vaccine imprinting constrained HIV-1 evolution following breakthrough infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this